My First Nike+ Challenge

Tuesday, 17 July 2007  |  Bullish Insights

Thanks to Hitme, I got invited by Peter_ob (from Philmug) to my first Nike+ Challenge a couple of days before I even tried out the nifty little gadget on the road. I had no idea how these challenges work, but anything that could give me more reason to run faster and longer sounded like good news to me!

The Manila Miles 25 Days Challenge was to begin on a most auspicious date: 07/07/07. (I felt luck would be by my side throughout the race, but I’m sure so did all the other 40+ runners!) So, I did register and crossed my fingers hoping that I would win the race to the most distance in 25 days without obssessing about it to the point that it took over my life (as running has obviously done!) I looked through the profiles of the other contenders on the board, evaluated their pace and distance, and developed my winning strategy. Okay, I’m kidding about the last two phrases!

It’s been a little over a week since the challenge started and fortunately it has not consumed me. Phew, thank God for that! I’ve stuck to my regular running program—which basically covers 40 to 45 km a week—and I just upload this to the Nike+ site and pray a silent prayer that the other runners experienced one of the following to shorten their distance: 1) heavier workload, 2) diarrhea during a long run, or 3) stolen rubber shoes. Hey, I’m kidding…again! This challenge is all about friendly competition, just to get all of us runners more motivated and excited about running further than we usually would.

During the early parts of the challenge, this is how the board looked…

July 10 Challenge

– Manila Miles Challenge: July 10, 2007. A bull run run run, a bull run run! –

Oh, my son was just so proud of me! When he saw this, he screamed “Yes mama, you are the winner!” with both hands jubilantly raised up in the air. I almost burst into tears with joy about my son’s reaction when he suddenly pauses and asks “Wait a minute. You are the bullrunner, right?”

Last night, I rechecked the board to see the changes that occurred in a mere week’s time. Ack. I don’t think I can match up to njrunner_fred’s distance. I concede! Njrunner_fred is apparently training to qualify for the Boston Marathon so go go go njrunner_fred! I am right behind you…literally!

July 16 Challenge

– Manila Miles Challenge: July 16, 2007. A bull run gone gone, a bull run gone –

Adidas Runner’s Check Up

Saturday, 14 July 2007  |  Bullish Insights, Running + Triathlon

My feet and I got to know each other a little better today. Thanks to Adidas, I got a free runner’s check up with Kristine Warren, the head physiotherapist of the Moro Lorenzo Sports Clinic in Ateneo de Manila.

So, there I was, standing in the middle of the Ateneo Highschool parking lot under the pouring rain with my feet soaked in dirty rainwater (how many times should I remind myself to stop wearing flipflops now that it’s the rainy season?!) I was searching for the Moro Lorenzo Gym and—since that entire structure was not even conceptualized during my college days—I could not for the life of me find it! After calling a friend (who just tells me to go straight ahead), I see it before me. Now how could I miss that colossal thing?!

Moro Lorenzo

After a brief wait, I am welcomed by Kristine herself. She cordially ushers me into her cubicle, plops down a black rubber pad right outside the door, and asks me to run as naturally as I can over it—with my bare feet. Uh huh, I nod and then I nervously peep out her door to note the handful of male athletes who will be forced to watch my attempts at landing on that little mat properly while I try my best to curl and hide my hideous runner’s toes (which, as I’ve told you, were earlier submerged in rainwater. Cover your noses people!) After reminding myself that these men are practically a decade younger than me (so they could care less about a ditzy mommy) , I muster up the courage to run and successfully finish the simple test in three tries.

Kristine pulls up a chair and I sit beside her to watch my feet pop out on her monitor (much like what the Predator would view using his infrared vision.) In the case of my foot image, the red portion shows areas of high-pressure landing against the backdrop of my yellow footprint. The monitor also reveals how and where my feet land and the full movement of each foot as I run.

Kristine Warren

– Kristine and Joseph of the Moro Lorenzo Sports Clinic posing with my feet image! –

My first reaction was panic. Do I land the right way? The image portrayed me clearly as a heel-striker. No doubt about that. But, with all the opposing information available in books and the net, I wasn’t quite sure if it was good to be labelled as such. Kristine says there is no hard and fast rule to this one. Some coaches teach you to strike at the heel, others prefer mid-foot. Whatever works for you, she says. Images of Haile Gebrselassie, Adidas endorser and greatest runner of all time, landing on his fore foot—not his heels—flashback into my memory and I know Kristine is right. To each his own.

Next, Kristine reveals that I—ack I hate to admit this—sort of turn my knees inward while running, then my feet try to make up for it by moving laterally. What?! I didn’t know I was capable of such a complicated maneuver! Perhaps I should have been a flamenco dancer instead of a runner?

Kristine instantly makes me feel better though when she calls me a “lightweight” runner with narrow feet. (Now you know: the best way to boost the self esteem of a knock-kneed runner is to tell her that she’s lighter than she looks.) She further says that I put heavy pressure on my forefoot (oh, you should’ve seen all those tiny red spots right below my pinky toe and in the middle of the ball of my feet) so she knows exactly what shoe to recommend for me.

Kristine says I must focus on cushioning. (Cushioning. Cushioning. Cushioning. Remind me about this the next time I go shopping for shoes. Now I know why I’ve got more calluses than skin under my feet. Okay okay I’m exaggerating, but really I do have a lot.) For competition, I should get the Adizero CS which has climavite cushion. Meanwhile, I could choose between the AdiStar Cushion or Supernova Cushion for my training shoes.

I hate to admit it, but I’ve confirmed what I knew for the past few weeks: that my current running shoe isn’t compatible with my feet! Through the Adidas Runner’s Check Up, I learned that my shoe is way too wide at the front and lacks the cushioning my special feet deserve. Aaaah, that’s what I get for buying a shoe without ever having my feet assessed. Lesson learned, but money wasted.

So, to all you future running shoe shoppers out there, go for a feet evaluation before you open your wallets! The Adidas Runner’s Check Up travels all around the Metro offering free feet assessments to everyone.

Thanks to Odette Velarde for making all this possible! Yeah, impossible is nothing with Adidas, eh?

Run For Your Life 100km Part 2

Wednesday, 11 July 2007  |  Interviews + Features

After visiting the blog of Neville Manaois, the man behind Run For Your Life 100km, I instantly wanted to interview him. Who wouldn’t be curious about his group’s training program, the background of each of these runners, and the entire story behind this run? Why, when he mentioned that 30-40km was a short run for them, I wanted to drive on over to his place just to say “You must be crazy!” Fortunately, within the same day of emailing a set of questions to Neville, he quickly responded and put my mind at ease.

Run For Your Life Poster2

What is the Run For Your Life?
Run for your life is a project initiated by a group of runners to raise funds for cancer patients. Our goal is to support Kythe which looks into the welfare of cancer patients specifically kids who need all our help and attention. Donors and supporters can make a financial pledge to the 6 member team running to the marathon all proceeds will go to Kythe.

When and where will the run be held?
This will happen in key cities in Metro Manila. We will start running at the UP mountaineers tambayan in UP diliman on July 21 at 7pm. We will be having a send off for the team and people can go there to donate or pledge for the runners. Our sponsor The North Face as well as Kythe will be there as well. This run will go on the entire night going around metro manila and we will proceed to the Quirino Grandstand to join the milo 42km run dun na rin yung finish line.

How did this idea come about? Why did you choose running as a fund raising event for cancer patients?

Romi Garduce, a close friend of mine encouraged me to push through with the plans of doing an ultra marathon. After procrastinating and thinking about it, I said yes thinking we would have three months to prepare. Yun pala 1 month na lang. So, we had the option to pull out or continue. We decided to push through kasi saying naman yung plano and we were already talking to sponsors, runners and other members.

We eventually decided to put the team’s running talents to good use. Inspired by other ultra marathons we decided we could use this run to generate funds for cancer patients. Rather than showing what ultra marathon is all about we want to show how running can help people and maybe inspire change. We focused our attention on cancer since most of us have friends, relatives, love ones, who died or battling cancer. On a more personal note, I have a close friend who I witness everyday fighting to live and it pains me to see that I can’t do anything.

Running is one of the simplest sports. You just need to run, no venue, no high-tech equipment, just run. The team has been running for a long time so we have decided to use our skills and talents. At the same time, we are promoting ultramarathon as a sport and people can do it.

Who are the runners joining? What are your backgrounds?
Most of the team members are members of the UP mountaineers. I have spent countless hours with them during runs, climbs and races. The short time frame given to us means that we need to chose people who we already know. We have invited other runners but the concern was the training is too short. I agree with them, that’s why we decide to focus on a group of people who have participated in long and strenuous activities. Most of all, we decided to recruit these people since they have sense of humour hahaha. The team members are all working so it was an extra challenge. The members are also involved in activities like marathon, ultimate frisbee, mountain biking, climbing, triathlon, most of all running. Hehehe.

Neville

 

How long have you trained for this?
We all have running backgrounds and we run twice a week or ride bikes or other activities. We officially started our training 1st week of June with the knowledge that the target date would be August but as I told you it was moved to July for the Milo Marathon. So, we have actually six weeks to train. All of us are working so I created a realistic plan. Long runs only weekend and the rest of the week do your own thing. So every Saturday or Sunday, we have long runs—not distance but time. First week four hours, then second week five hours etc. A lot of us got sick hahahahaha. Check out my blog I posted my Nike+ stats.

How does a typical week of your training program look?
We have individual trainings. Once a week, I do long runs. Real long, like five to six hours. I don’t care about the mileage. What is important is how much time I spent running or walking (we have to train walking also). The rest of the week I run only once usually Wednesdays, since I have to work and make arrangements for the project.

How do you feel now that the event is drawing near? Excited? Anxious?
Anxious, and the ominous task is bearing down on me. Kabado talaga!!! I am having a hard time focusing with my work and also my studies hehehehe. But I will just look at it as an ordinary training run with a cause. I just hope I don’t get sick. Hehehe. Its just been very busy, the only time I can really think about the run is during the long runs.

Can other runners join a shorter distance and help collect pledges?
Yes, other runners can join in and collect pledges. We also have guest runners. Sad to say we may not be able to provide support to other runners in terms of transportation, sponsors and the rest. I suggest that you run with us and collect your own pledge. The goal if this run is to jumpstart these kinds of activities. We already have plans in store. When we finalize the route you can actually join us and we hope you join and create your own pledge. It is time to give something back to the community.

How can we pledge?
I will be releasing two posters today all information could be seen there about pledge. But here are some of the details how you too can be a part of “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE”:

  1. Pledge PhP500.00 for every kilometer that the runners will run. Each kilometer completed contributes directly to Kythe Foundation’s Cancer Fund and Child Life Program for chronically-ill children.
  2. Pledge then join the runners as they do the 100-km. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE beginning July 21 at 7:00 pm and ending on July 22 at 10:30 am at the Milo 42-km Marathon Eliminations. It’s fun, satisfying and life-saving!

Donate directly to Kythe Foundation at these receiving areas:

  • Via ” Kythe Inc. “BPI Family Bank, East Avenue branch. Account number 6031-0529-02.
  • At the start of the RUN at the University of the Philippines Mountaineers, UP Diliman Campus on July 21,2007 starting at 6:00 pm. The staff of Kythe will be there to receive donations.
  • Quirino Grandstand on July 22, 2007 Milo Marathon Metro Manila Eliminations. This is where the RUN ends. Upon fulfillment of your pledge, you will receive a certificate of 10% discount on products from The North Face.
  • at the Rockwell Mall Press Conference on August 7, 2007.

Pledge now! See you at the RUN!

For more information on the runners’ profiles, pledges & donations to Kythe, visit Kythe, U.P. Mountaineers, Hirap Mag Run, or email fundrun@gmail.com

Meet Other Runners

Tuesday, 10 July 2007  |  Favorite Posts

Runner

Calling All Runners—who have a mere minute to spare!

I created a new page called “Meet Other Runners.” It’s main purpose is for all of us to celebrate the passion we have for running and to learn from and about each other. Sounds very deep huh? A third reason is, quite frankly, just to satisfy my curiosity about all of you.

Click here if you wish to share some information (and secrets if you will) about your running life…

Run For Your Life 100km

Tuesday, 10 July 2007  |  News + Promos

A group of runners have taken on a seemingly insurmountable mission: to run 100km within the city of Metro Manila. Call them crazy if you wish, but nothing will stop them from accomplishing this challenge as its cause is something they are willing to sweat, pant, cry, and struggle for. They are running to raise funds for cancer patients.

Run For Your Life 100km

If you wish to help (without breaking a sweat), you can pledge a certain amount for every kilometer that these honorable ultra-marathoners will run.

For those curious about the run, it will be held on July 21 to 22, 2007. Other details will be released within this week. For more info, you may email Neville Manaois at fundrun@gmail.com.

Thanks to Anton for sharing this!